THE ROLE OF POS RETAILERS ON EASY ACCESS OF FINANCE DURING ENDSARS PROTEST IN NIGERIA
1.0 Background of the Study
On the Information and Communication Technology convergence curve, financial institutions and telecommunication firms around the world are facing a new loop. The next generation e-payment system's point of sale [POS] terminal has emerged as a promising new technology. Based on CBN policy on cash lodgments and withdraws all businesses that accept cash up to N0.5m for individuals and up to N3m for corporate customers for their daily business transactions require a PoS terminal to avoid being charged from 2% in excess of the approved free lodgment limit. These include supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, electronic shops, pharmacies, boutiques, Hospitals, Distributorships, Airlines, etc.
A point of sale/ service [POS] terminal is used to conduct retail transactions. It can provide many services including credit card processing check, recharging of DSTV and decoders, reading and transactions depending on the model. These devices can be found virtually anywhere, from grocery stores, supermarkets to gas stations. The technology used in POS machine results in a speedy and secured transaction.A POS system is a suite of technology used by retailers and restaurant owners to accept payments from customers, among other tasks. Collectively, it’s the software and hardware that a retail business needs to run their business. From ordering and managing inventory to processing transactions to managing customers and staff, the point of sale is the central hub that helps retailers run and grow their businesses. POS systems have enabled anyone, from business-savvy entrepreneurs to artisans who want to turn their passion into their profession, to open a retail store and grow. According to Ugwuede (2020), Point of Sales Retailers were the easy run-to of the protesters during the the EndSARs movement.
On October 2020, a large youth-led protests against police shook the cities across Nigeria, Africa's most populous country. The demonstrations emerged after video circulated on social media purporting to show an extrajudicial killing by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the national Nigeria Police Force (NPF) responsible for investigating violent offenses. SARS personnel previously had been implicated in extensive human rights abuses by what the U.S. State Department describes as “credible international organizations.Protests against police brutality previously have arisen in Nigeria, as advocates and researchers have documented extensive evidence of human rights abuses by SARS officers and other NPF personnel. In a 2016 report, Amnesty International asserted that SARS officers routinely committed torture and other abuses against detainees—many of whom were arrested arbitrarily, detained incommunicado, and forced to “confess” or pay bribes to secure release.Reports emerged of violence and looting by some crowds—including attacks on police stations,prisons, banks, major business outlets as well as instances of ethnically-targeted violence in Lagos and Edo State as the most heated region.However in response of these attacks, On October 20, army and police reportedly used live fire to disperse demonstrators in the Lekki and Alausa areas of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, killing several and injuring hundreds.Although this action received international critics, the state government continued to pudt in measures to bring down effort of these movement by tracking platforms(Flutterwave and Feminist Coalition a social advocacy platform) that funds the EndSars movement thus their only resort was the usage Point of Sales for doing their financial transaction.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Fintech companies was a pivotal mechanism in fundraising for the#EndSARS Nigeria.Two payment links, one set up by Flutterwave and another by a social advocacy platform called Feminist Coalition have was the two most prominent crowdfunding links when the radical protests started on Wednesday, October 7 2020. At the peak heat of EndSARs protest, banks were burned down especially in Lagos and Aba by the angry protesters. Thus it was pertinent for government to impose curfew and financial institutions were temporarily locked down to enable strategize on how to bear the losses of razed down branches. The effect of this temporal lock down of financial institution on the citizens could be characterized by difficulties in accessing money for their daily expenses. However it was requisite for them to resort to the services of Pointy Of Sale machines operators and retailers. Due to the high demand of their service, they imposed high charges for each transaction made with POS machines which was way expensive more than bank USSD charges. Therefore it is against this backdrop that this study seek to examine the role of POS Retailers on easy access of finance during EndSARs protest in Nigeria.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of POS retailers on easy access of finance during EndSARS protest in Nigeria. Specifically it was geared:
Examine the extent POS Retailers made financial service easy to the public during EndSARs protest.
To investigate the implications of EndSARs movement on banks
1.4 Significance of Study
This study would be relevant to the general public and to the body of knowledge. It will enable policy makers to review charges attached to e-payment platform as POS machines.it will expose to government on the menace and effect elicited by the EndSARs protest.It will enhance and heighten the need for financial institutions to encourage interested entrepreneurs to set up POS hubs in local area where they are needed. It would also be significant for academic works and give room for further studies.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of POS retailers on easy access of finance during EndSARS protest in Nigeria. However this study is delimited to Aba South local government area, Abia State.
1.6 Research Question
What are the implications of EndSARs movement on banks?
To what extent did POS Retailers made financial service easy to the public during EndSARs protest?
1.7Limitation Of Study Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Role: A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation
POS: The full meaning of POS is "point of sale," or, in other words, it's where your transaction is finalized.The point of sale or point of purchase is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed.
POS business: POS business is a legitimate way to make money in Nigeria. It is also called agent banking business, and it's an extension of the services offered by financial institutions to enable easy service offering to a wide range of customers
POS Agents/Retailers: This any individual that has a POS business. They are agents who carry out financial and banking services on behalf of the bank while earning their own commission.
ENDSARS: End SARS is a decentralised social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses.